Tiny Treasures

Delicate paperwhite blooms add charm and fragrance to any holiday setting.


Hardware, Soft Blossoms

Paperwhites arranged in a bowl or an antique jar set with a handful of hardware make a surprising — and eye-catching — centrepiece. Tuck the cut stems in the nuts and washers and add water. The blooms will last 4 to 5 days in water freshened daily.

Paperwhites in an antique jar

Glass Housing

Turn a glass block into a cool container to force paperwhites. Mask off the centre of the block with painter’s tape, spray with chalkboard paint, and leave a message in chalk.

Paperwhites in glass-block vase

Bloom Ball

Small ball ornaments make perfect little vases for tiny paperwhite blossoms. Add them to holiday place settings, tabletops, and mantels.

Paperwhite blossoms in Christmas ornament

Coffee, Tea, or Flowers

Grow paperwhites in coffee mugs for a fun holiday accent or hostess gift. Fill a cup with river rock or stones. Nestle one or two bulbs in the stones and add just enough water to touch the base of the bulbs. You’ll have cups of blooms in 4-6 weeks.

Paperwhite bulbs growing in coffee cups

Sweet Wreaths

Paperwhites have a strong, spicy fragrance that complements fresh evergreens. Tuck the tiny blossoms into a wreath for an attractive and aromatic display.

Paperwhites in an evergreen wreath

Paperwhite Basics

Forcing paperwhites is easy. Buy a pack of 20 bulbs (#279840) or look for kits that include a holiday container. Follow these tips:

Just add water. Paperwhites just need water to grow. Support their roots with pebbles, marbles, beads, beach glass, shells, or even nuts and other hardware. Add about 3 inches [7.62 cm] of root support to a container, nestle the bulbs on top, and add water until the level reaches the base of the bulbs. (If bulbs sit in water, they will rot.) Keep the water at this level until the roots are established (about one week).

Time it. Paperwhites will bloom in 4-6 weeks. For blooms throughout the holidays, force 6-12 new bulbs at 2- to 4-week intervals. Discard bulbs after the blooms have faded.

Cure leggy stems. When stems are about 2 inches [5.08 cm] tall, add 1 part rubbing alcohol to 14 parts water to keep them from getting too long.


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